Jason Mulanax is the owner of the Smoking Bandit and his cousin Ethan Kindle owns Outlaw Ink, which sit directly next door to each other in Downtown Pampa.
When Outlaw Ink first opened, which is a tattoo shop, Jason had a small area in the store where he sold smoking accessories. As demand grew, he knew he needed extra space and subsequently opened the doors to the Smoking Bandit on March 13, 2019.
“I think Pampa needed a little smoke shop, so I started this up,” Mulanax said.
Mulanax explained that he added a door to connect the two businesses and did some painting to update the inside of the colorful building. Each wall is painted a different color ranging from purple to vibrant green.
He filled the store with a wide variety of glass, acrylic and silicone smoking accessories, CBD products and gift accessories from distributors such as AFG Distribution, SPS and Smokey.
“I try to get stuff at least every week or every other week,” says Mulanax.
He said that he will spend hours on his phone browsing for unique products to display in his store.
He hopes to introduce Zong products in March. Zong requires that a smoke shop be in business for one year before being able to purchase their products at a wholesale price.
Mulanax recently added a gift extension to the Smoking Bandit which features T-shirts and blacklight posters that Mulanax frames for potential purchasers.
“It’s probably been three or four months since we opened the gift shop extension,” Mulunax said.
The extension has done a lot better than he thought it would since he opened it. He originally opened it just for fun, thinking it would be a nice nostalgic touch for some of the older crowd.
“We leave it on at night (blacklights), so when you drive by it’s lit up over here. It looks really cool from the street,” Mulanax says.
Mulanax says that since Pampa can be a little political when it comes to the nature of his business, that he has decided to involve himself in the community and with his customers through social media for the most part. He regularly holds contests and giveaways on his Facebook and Instagram pages.
“Every Wednesday we do Winning Wednesdays where you guess a number and win free stuff. We have specials sometimes here and there. I try to stay connected on Facebook and Instagram,” says Mulanax.
He also offers a punch card for customers which offer a discount after so many dollars are spent in the store.
Although he rides a delicate political wave, Mulanax has done his due diligence to ensure that his bases are covered.
“Before I started this, I talked to code enforcement to make sure that there wasn’t any city ordinances. They told us what not to sell,” he said.
Mulanax believes that before too long, marijuana and associated products will be legalized and therefore normalized in Texas, removing the age-long taboo that seems to be placed on smoke shops here.
“They (Texas) will eventually (legalize), they’ll just drag their feet,” Mulanax says. “Look at Colorado, they’re booming.”
He said that he feels that Pampa is slowly starting to shift on their general view of smoke shops, and that his customers are his biggest supporters.
“I’ve been here my whole life,” says Mulanax, which has helped him to gauge the changes in the town’s view of his smoke shop over time.
When asked if he would branch out or open additional locations, Mulanax responded “We’ll just have to see.”
For more information about the Smoking Bandit or the products they offer, you can go online to their Facebook or Instagram pages or visit their location on Foster street in Downtown Pampa.
The Pampa News would like to congratulate Mr. Mulanax for the Smoking Bandit’s upcoming one-year anniversary.
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